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Girls' guide to fishing, Part III
6/21
This is the last of a three part column on the topic of ladies and fishing.

In the last two columns, we have covered fishing season, what to pack for your inevitable long trip to the lake, and shore and boat fishing. In addition, we have explored the world of lures.

I should mention at this juncture that I have since “walked the dog” with a spook. I’m not telling you this to impress you, I just think you should know.

In order to “walk the dog,” you must have in your possession a “spook” lure, fishing pole and enough coordination to whack a child in the back seat of a car while driving and talking on a cell phone...without wrecking. I’m not saying I do either of them well, but I have done both.

This week, I’ll finish with fish handling, catch and release and my personal favorite, “special time.”

Handling the fish
If you are going to fish, you will eventually have to touch the fish – yes, with your hand - because no serious fisherman will continually stop his fishing to get yours’ off the hook. This is especially true if you are catching more fish than him.

Initially, your guy might think it’s cute that you think the fish is yucky and come to your rescue like the knight in shining waders that he is. But – and this is important – if you are dating or married to a serious fisherman, that cute lasts about as long as sunscreen. So, be prepared to touch a fish, sometimes actually putting fingers in its mouth.

Some of the fish with smaller mouths have to be held mid-body to get the hook out of their mouth. I’d never even thought about the bathroom habits of a fish, but they do tinkle outside the safe haven of the lake. So add hand sanitizer to the list of what to take on your fishing trip.

If you want to impress your man, you will hold the fish for a picture. Early on in my “fishing trophy” photos I had what I like to call jazz fingers in all of the pictures. This is because I was freaking out on the inside, which manifested itself in the fingers not holding the fish.

Anyway, if you’re lucky the fish will do it’s little bathroom trick during the photo shoot. This hasn’t happened to me yet, but it has happened to the man I’m dating and that’s the first time I actually considered that fish pee. In fact, they swim in their own toilet.

Another way to impress your man is to actually remove the hook from the little guy’s mouth, which again will leave your guy free to catch the fish of a lifetime.

To remove the hook, you get a pair of needlenose pliers, and in between unrecognizable throat noises and cussing, wiggle the hook out while apologizing to the fish.

News to know: I do not recommend hook removal by the ladies if you accidentally catch a Walleye, which – and I think I’m correct here - are fresh-water piranhas, I don’t care what anyone says.

Also, size does matter. And I’m talking photography here.

Case in point: I was fishing Friday with the man I date at Lake Arrowhead. We hadn’t caught much when he reeled in a five pound largemouth bass. It was a good fish, and subsequently did not pee during the excitement. I took pictures that required I back up to capture the entire length of the fish. Those really make for great vertical pictures, which are easy to find a frame for (see exhibit A) .

Less than 10 minutes later, I caught one on a rattletrap. I reeled that bad boy in, only to find that it was the Tom Thumb of Lake Arrowhead. Not much larger than the rattletrap he attacked, I named him Braveheart and set him free. But not before I made Mike take my picture with the tiniest bass I’ve ever caught. I was proud of the little guy, who was roughly the length of my face. Those make for really great square pictures of a giant face with a tiny fish, not so easy to frame (see exhibit B).

Catch and Release

This does not refer to dating. Catch and release means you do not chop the fish’s head off and later eat it, but instead gently remove the hook from it’s mouth and set it free to warn the others that you are near.

That is what we do.

Special Time
When you date a serious fisherman, most of your dates will take you to exotic locations such as Lake Arrowhead, Lake Nocona, Lake (insert body of water here), or Academy Sporting Goods.

You will have to become adept at making a romantic dinner out of Rice Krispie treats and bottled water. Add sunset at the lake to this scenario, and it’s incredibly sexy.
The best part is, you’ll have your man all to yourself - if you aren’t counting the fish.